Garrison Units

omglazers

Warlord
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Jan 7, 2008
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126
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Orlando, FL
Lets start a discussion on garrisoned units we keep in cities to defend the city from any invsions or just for pure military protection.

Pre-Hereditary Rule I usually only keep one archer, max two in any of my cities. Even with Aggressive AI on, at the Prince/Monarch level, early wars don't seem to happen too often unless I start them.

Post Monarchy for some reason [I'm guessing my roots in Civ 2/3] I usually keep about two archers in a city. But now im starting to wonder if I should keep more.

I'm trying to run an SE now so hopefully I can produce the Pyramids and get representation but if that doesn't happen, It's HR for a loooooong time. With that in mind, how many units do you use for garrisons? And what type?

I can see a major advantage of having two archers and maybe one axeman or spearman. I guess it really depends on the location and civilization, but I want to hear everyone sound off about how they use garrisons and how they compose them.

I also wonder because i'm wondering if when HR hits, I should be pumping out units and form a standing army but keep them in each of the cities in times of peace. So anyone who can contribute on the issue of garrison'ed units, post here.
 

jimjamss

Chieftain
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Jan 18, 2008
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I usually only defend my cities with archers if I don't have access to any metals. Archers are good for defending cities but you are leaving yourself open to some pillaging. I try to take it to my attacker before they pillage important improvements, especially towns. My typical defenders in the early game are axes, spearmen, and a few archers sprinkled in. The # of defenders depends on the circumstances. And cats can be usefull as well for softening up that SoD.
 

omglazers

Warlord
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Usually one defender. I never need to defend. I attack.

With only one defender, you're missing out on the big boost from HR. Also, doesn't this seem risky considering at monarch and above, the opponent's military will usually be larger for most of the early game?
 

silver 2039

Deity
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With only one defender, you're missing out on the big boost from HR. Also, doesn't this seem risky considering at monarch and above, the opponent's military will usually be larger for most of the early game?

Nah I like to rush. So I attack my nearest neighbor and overwhelm them with warriors, archers, or whatever I have available at the start of the game. I also tend to play civs with strong UU's and such. The Persians, Romans, and Chinese are favorites of mine, they have excellent UU's in the early game.
 

r_rolo1

King of myself
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Usually one defender. I never need to defend. I attack.
That doesn't work all the time..... ;) The combat mechanics strongly favours troops holding ground, and as levels go up, it is better to let the AI come to you in a first phase of the war to take advantage of them.

On topic:

It depends a lot of the place and of the surrounding civs, but atleast 2 city garrison units in the borders ( with maybe a drill one and a optional medic )
 

AnsonMage

Chieftain
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Nov 29, 2007
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Mesa, Arizona
My problem has always been barbarians. I've had several game sessions ruined because I quickly became surrounded by barbarians.

Archers aren't enough! They're great defenders but keeping barbarians off of your improvements requires first strike. I try to keep a mix of troops around.

In the early game, a simple Archer is fine, but as Swordsmen and Horsemen come along, I find it is useful to keep a couple of Axemen and Spearmen around as well. As jimjamss said, catapults are great defenders for softening up stacks.

I find in the late game that I need even more diversity with SAMs/Mech Inf for air defense (until flight and fighters, etc) and Muskets/Rifle/Infantry for ground forces.

I try to keep attackers centralized so that they can move towards active threats, while leaving defenders in every city.
 

silver 2039

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I try to keep attackers centralized so that they can move towards active threats, while leaving defenders in every city.

No. Only do that with fast attackers like horsemen, cavalry, and such. But with things like swords, maces, and what not, you should station some on each part of your borders, preferably in your border cities, or in a fortified stronghold.
That doesn't work all the time..... The combat mechanics strongly favours troops holding ground, and as levels go up, it is better to let the AI come to you in a first phase of the war to take advantage of them.

I disagree. I pour troops into enemy territory, fast troops like horses, knights, and cavalry and scope out their weak points and have them send their army at my sacrificial lambs. Once their army is out in the open attracted by my fast raiders, I move in my main force and wipe out the enemy army.

So then I have a free reign to march through their territory and take each city one by one, and devastate their infrastructures. Its always best to fight a war on enemy territory than your territory. Its their cities that will be attacked, their roads and mines destroyed, their villages and towns plundered. Not yours.
 

Martin79

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Nov 29, 2007
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Montréal, Québec
Axemen are good defenders and they can be use to conterattack (they conter the typical city raiders). I use few spears and I build archers only in low production cities or when I don't have copper and iron.
 

AmazonQueen

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Archers, axemen and spearmen (or Longbowmen, crossbows and pikemen later on) in every city.
I agree its best to take the fight to the enemy but some foes make that difficult. Early on its very difficult to stop Impis pillaging as they are faster than the units that can counter them. Barbarians can of course turn up anywhere unless you build a lot of fogbusters.
 

Daedal

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I like to keep one archer/longbow in every city and one axeman/maceman in every border city whenever possible. A few fast units strategically positioned throughout the empire are also helpful for quick reinforcement and picking off lone pillagers.

In BTS it's good to be proactive about defense though, since the AI will usually come at you with a stack large enough to overwhelm any passive defense you've put up.
 

CivMcNut

Having Fun At It
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I find I can many times get by with one archer in several of my cities that are in the middle of my empire. They really just serve to keep that "We demand protection" unhappiness from creeping in. If I have lots of luxury resources and the city hasn't grown to it's unhappiness cap then I don't even see reason to make a 2nd troop even under HR. Near the borders I might garrison my town with a axeman/maceman with Combat Promotions so they can be good at attacking any barbs that come by trying to pillage. Near my borders with the other civs is where I keep a thick pile of troops.

Once I research Feudalism, I'll add a longbowman on top of every archer in my cities to keep from falling behind on the power rating. I'll keep that archer around until I switch out of HR. Later in the game if the city shows no signs of being attacked, longbowmen will be the garrison I leave until sometime in the industrial era. Lately I find myself using riflemen to go off and fight and don't garrison them much till the modern era. One tactic I use for cities that might be attacked is to garrison them a whole bunch of highly upgraded old troops from early wars. If trouble heads that way for the city, I can always upgrade them to modern troops that can be quite effective.
 

Gooblah

Heh...
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Usually, My defense goes like this:
Warriors-Cheap, can be built within one turn, and get a defense bonus
Archers- Same as above, but with City Garrison, are awesome.
 

ICNP

The Third Superpower
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Usually just enough Warrior/archers for my happy cap and Power rating. I will add Longbows when available and Rifles later on.

Mounted units are excellent as they can quickly dispel threats from your borders as long as the threat doesn't carry a pointy stick. Axes are also awesome as they can repel Swords and other Axes. And a Spearman who using roads can catch a Chariot raider are a must.
 

lilnev

King
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Aug 22, 2006
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Pre-HR: one warrior/city, plus fogbusters as needed. If I have an aggressive neighbor, I'll keep some real forces (axes and a spear or two, or archers if I have no metals) in the most likely target city. Post-HR: as many warriors as I need to avoid happiness constraints. Unless I'm unlucky enough to start with Hunting (or I need it for Ivory/Furs), in which case archers or chariots. Once the AIs get Astronomy, I'll reinforce coastal cities with 2-3 good defenders. I'll also either set up a network of caravels to spot incoming fleets, or wait until Physics and use airships; then a centralized or regionalized stack of mixed troops can respond.

peace,
lilnev
 

A_Hamster

Small Furry Animal
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Dec 20, 2007
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Generally, one Warrior in the early game before the barbs start coming, then an Axeman or two. I've stopped building Archers unless I'm playing a Protective leader or playing Mali. Instead, I'm building more Chariots in anticipation of the barb Axemen. Also, I tend to ignore Horse Archers and not build more mounted troops until Guilds.

Core cities away from the frontier usually do not get more than three units (probably two Axes & a Chariot) and are often only an Axe and Chariot. Frontier cities will get more, and after Guilds, a central reserve of Knights will be built so they can rush to trouble spots. (Usually by this time, I'll have CS & Machinery, so I'm probably planning on starting trouble and am building lots of Maces and Trebs.)

Longbows are worthwhile CG troops, so I do add them to the garrisons once I get Feudalism, and I'm starting to appreciate Crossbows more. although they usually are promoted for offense, not city defense.
 

BalbanesBeoulve

Emperor
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Early game I try to get 2 spearmen and 2 axemen in each border city in anticipation of any war, then add in some xbows or longbows once i get them. Then I'll build an anti-cat force of about 5-10 horse archers, and later knights. Inside cities I try to keep at least 2 units, usually 1 longbow and 1 spearman pikeman that can pick off any pillaging horses.

Of course if I'm surrounded by peaceful civs and i'm on good terms with all of them i'll often completely ignore my defenses.
 

Andvare

King
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Sep 14, 2007
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Depends heavily on the map, what resources I've got, what resources the main enemy's got and what units he is likely to bring (a Sumerian with copper/iron, axes is the choice, but against Persia with horsies, it's spears).
It also depends on which civic I'm running. With HR, I'd go for at least two cheap units in every city (and not-so-cheap in those that needs defence, like border cities where the visibility ain't as good as it should be).
 

vicawoo

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Feb 12, 2007
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Most games, I try to squeeze out as many warriors as I can spare (they don't count as real military) for hereditary rule use later. If I can't build them, chariots are my cheap units, then archers.

Cities build a granary and barracks when they can spare early, then it's all units. I'm not sure if they're actually garrisoning most of the time, more getting in position to attack.
 

JustinianVII

Prince
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Nov 5, 2007
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Border cities always get the most garrisoned soldiers, but all my cities have some of everything. More is added over time with Maces, Cross and Longbows, and Pikes. Even the far cities of the empire have a minimum of one of everything, as reinforcements if needed. Mounted soldiers are usually just cleanup, unless I have a mounted soldier that holds a significant advantage over enemy soldiers.
 
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